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WOW. A port-leaning federal judge has ruled in favor of the idea of a limited government. What’s next—states’ rights getting another look?

This week a judge in good standing in Washington, D.C., ruled that the administration cannot force drug companies to disclose prices in TV ads. But taking a cue from a much higher court, this one punted on the reason why. Some of us thought the judge would come down on one side of the First Amendment or t’ other, or maybe buy that claim by the insurance companies that telling people the cost of a drug would discourage them from using it. Instead, the judge said this whole business is a legislative job, not an executive one, and if Congress wants this rule, it should vote for it. Then perhaps the courts will rule on constitutionality.


Okay, fine. If this requires an actual and literal Act of Congress, then let’s get busy, congressmen.

The drug companies would like to keep their prices under wrap. They’ll tell you the reason is insurance. Folks pay different rates. But some of us don’t understand the argument. It would seem that folks paying a whole lot more than their sons and daughters for their statin drugs would inquire about such things to their insurance companies. And inflict a little competition on those companies. Which may be the whole reason for the companies’ trepidation. A monopoly is so much simpler. And rakes in more money.

You gotta hand it to President Trump. He tried. He wants to require Big Pharma to put prices in their commercials. They put everything else in, running on for several long minutes about possible side effects. Surely there must be a federal regulation that requires the companies to disclose possible dizziness, headache, insominia, skin rash, brittle fingernails, etc. with their drugs. But not the price?

As far as the First Amendment argument goes, the one in which Big Pharma says it doesn’t have to disclose anything it doesn’t want to, we give you car dealers. They’re required to disclose car prices.

The real benefit in the administration’s efforts would have been to increase transparency and competition. If drug companies were required to publish their flat drug prices on television, people could more easily shop around. Call it the free market.

If a drug company is afraid showing its prices might drive customers away, maybe it should take a good hard look at its prices.

This administration has a reputation for cutting regulations, not increasing them. But in this instance, the leadership therein understands that there are degrees to these things. When it comes to the cost of drugs in this country, currently the people are in the dark. What they should be is in the driver’s seat.

Print Headline: Price check, please


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Archived Comments

  • 23cal
    July 12, 2019 at 10:08 a.m.

    "You gotta hand it to President Trump. He tried."
    Suck up. Toady. Sycophant. Bootlicker.
    No, we don't have to hand it to Trump. His feeble effort failed like so many because it was 1. illegal and 2. dumb.
    About " If drug companies were required to publish their flat drug prices on television, people could more easily shop around. Call it the free market."
    If people were buying directly from drug companies editor might have a point. However, people don't, and so he doesn't.
    People buy their drugs from local pharmacies, and nothing is currently stopping them from "shopping around" at EVERY PHARMACY IN TOWN and simply comparing the price which they will have to pay.
    If you REALLY want to do something about drug prices, start with allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices. Federal law currently prohibits the Secretary of Health and Human Services from negotiating prescription drug prices. Federal law currently prohibits the Secretary of Health and Human Services from negotiating prescription drug prices. If the Secretary were allowed to require brand-name drug manufacturers to lower the price of their drugs, Medicare Part D could save on average $11 billion per year, according to CBO.
    Fix this: the VA does not simply negotiate prices; rather, it fixes prices and then reduces the range of drugs offered to enrollees. ... The VA does not use its buying power to negotiate with drug companies for lower prices.
    Institute a system like in Britain where the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) advises the country’s National Health Service about which drugs to cover.Don't cover one 1% better and 1000 times more expensive.
    There are a number of legal and smart ways to attack the problem. Trump gets credit when he tries one of them.

  • UoABarefootPhdFICYMCA
    July 12, 2019 at 11:06 a.m.

    23 you got turret ts or something?
    thats alot of words and the sense is just kinda sprinkled.

  • Seitan
    July 12, 2019 at 11:22 a.m.

    For a reality-show star, Trump is not really based in reality, now is he? So, no, we don't have to hand him anything. He'll just grab it by the"kitty" whenever the mood strikes.

  • Waitjustaminute
    July 12, 2019 at 11:35 a.m.

    23Cal, other than being over-the-top harsh, your points are valid. If liberals could just make good points like yours without being such a*ses about it, they might win more people over.

  • Seitan
    July 12, 2019 at 11:53 a.m.

    Waitjust. More harsh than Trump's constant insults?